Apia urges storm and hail affected customers to contact insurer

Government support for Sydney storm clean up welcomed

Apia is urging customers battered by yesterday’s severe storms to lodge their claims as soon as possible to get  repairs underway.

Apia spokesperson, Angela Wilkinson, said: “Sustaining this kind of damage so close to Christmas will be a blow for many residents. Our staff are ready to provide all the support necessary to get them back on their feet as quickly as possible.

“Affected customers should contact us as soon as they are able, even if they are without access to their property. The sooner we’re notified, the sooner we can provide immediate assistance.”

“We can arrange emergency ‘make safe’ repairs to restore access to properties and provide protection from the elements, organise temporary accommodation or provide emergency funds,” she said.

Ms Wilkinson said Sydney’s southern and eastern suburbs were the most affected areas, including Kurnell, Bundeena, Chifley, Maroubra and Bondi.

“The vast majority of claims received have been for home damage, largely stemming from roof damage caused by record-breaking winds, water entry into ceilings and damage from fallen trees and flying debris. Flash flooding was also experienced in parts of Sydney.

“More than a third of claims had been for car damage due to hail, impact from trees and debris and some flash flooding,” she said.

Ms Wilkinson said Apia’s focus was responding to customers as quickly as possible.

“Our builders and assessors are already on the ground helping customers with damage assessments and repairs. In Kurnell, assessors are on standby awaiting access to the area from emergency services, due to the presence of asbestos.

“The NSW Government’s waiving of the waste levy for residents and businesses in the Kurnell area for bulk waste and asbestos will provide welcome relief to the community as the clean up begins,” Ms Wilkinson said.

“Finally, we urge residents to exercise caution as they return to their properties. On arrival, there are also some practical things they can do to fast-track the claims and recovery process,” Ms Wilkinson advised.

Apia’s storm clean up tips:

  • If you see or suspect asbestos do not touch it and notify emergency authorities, such as the SES or the fire service.
  • If you have evacuated your home, ensure electricity and gas supplies are switched off before re-entering.
  • Do not attempt to use any electrical equipment, such as fridges, televisions or toasters that have been in contact with water.
  • Do your best to dry out your home by keeping it as ventilated as possible to help prevent the quick build up of mould.
  • Get wet contents out of the house and make a list of damaged items. Take photos, if possible, and make a note of brand names/model numbers as this will help us provide you with equivalent replacements.
  • Throw away food that has been in contact with flood water or which has not been refrigerated. Take pictures of the fridge and its contents if possible. You may be eligible to claim on food spoilage if you’ve lost power.
  • Dispose of your carpet if has been severely damaged by floodwaters as keeping it can cause further damage. Make sure you keep a small piece to show our assessors or photograph the carpet back where the make and brand is stamped.

Apia customers can lodge their claims by calling 13 50 50 or online at www.apia.com.au.